We're rolling out the NFL previews and first up on the podcast: the AFC North.
Unlike other divisions, where any team could win, the AFC North will come down to the Steelers and Ravens, although there will be a race to the basement between the Browns and Bengals. That said, both Cleveland and Cincy have relatively easy schedules and there's a chance (remote but not impossible) that one or both of these outfits could win more than six games.
For that to happen, young quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton will have to play out of their minds and get a lot of help from their teammates. McCoy performed better than anybody expected last season, and with expectations predictably low for Dalton, there really is no place for him to go but up (assuming, of course, he doesn't get maimed by the Ravens' or Steelers' defenses at some point during the season).
Baltimore fans may not be sold on Joe Flacco, but the front office's decision to cut ties with two of his favorite receivers -- Derrick Mason and Todd Heap -- won't magically make him a better player. As it stands, the Ravens have Anquan Boldin and, well, that's it. Rookie Torrey Smith could be forced into duty, which while great for getting him some early experience, won't do much for the passing game. The solution: more Ray Rice.
Pittsburgh returns basically the same team that lost to Green Bay in the Super Bowl. If you're a Steelers homer and looking for a silver lining from that loss: there won't be any Super Bowl hangover. So there's that.
Alright, talking starts below. (Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.)
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